Greece is hoping for a change of tune by Germany on debt relief when their finance ministers hold Friday their first meeting since a new government took office in Berlin. Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos travels to Berlin where he will meet his new German counterpart Olaf Scholz, a meeting that could give clues on just how much debt relief Berlin is ready to accord Greece as Athens makes preparations to exit its bailout programme in August. Scholz's predecessor Wolfgang Schaeuble was the main proponent of requiring Greece to pursue painful austerity policies in order to win bailout loans, and strenuously resisted any talk of debt relief. While staving off Greece from crashing out of the eurozone, the bailout loans have resulted in the country's debt remaining at an unsustainable 180 percent of its annual economic output. But as Greece approaches the end of its bailout programme, markets will need to be convinced that it can handle its debt load or it may find itself seeking … [Read more...] about Greece hoping for Germany to change tune on debt relief
IMF dubious Germany's new finance minister, Olaf Scholz, is more likely to join a European effort to reduce Greece's debt, but political dangers abound. Published on April 3, 2018 8:45 pm France and the European Union are pressing ahead with plans to implement debt relief for Greece now that Germany’s former Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, who preached austerity instead of bailouts, is no longer holding the purse strings in the coalition government. European finance ministers are scheduled to meet at an informal meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria at the end of the month, and there is growing hope that Germany’s new finance chief, Olaf Scholz, will be more flexible than Mr. Schäuble was in agreeing to debt relief. Greece’s debt-to-GDP ratio has risen from 160 percent at the end of 2012 to almost 180 percent this year and is becoming more untenable than ever. Mr. Scholz, a former mayor of Hamburg and a Social Democrat, is believed to be more liberal on … [Read more...] about With Mr. Austerity gone, will Germany approve debt relief for Greece?
Euro zone finance ministers have agreed to give Greece short-term debt relief but what price, if any, will Athens have to pay the price in the long-term by way of austerity measures? We take a closer look at the proposed measures to see how Greece’s debt will be reduced. … [Read more...] about Debt relief gift for Greece and Italy’s political merry-go round resumes
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone creditors will disburse new loans to Greece this month and are working on debt relief measures, the head of the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers said on Monday, moves that should help strengthen the Greek recovery. Greece’s 86-billion-euro bailout programme, the third since 2010, is approaching its end in August and international lenders are debating how to make sure the country maintains strong growth in the coming years. The euro zone bailout fund will pay out a new loan of 5.7 billion euros (£5.1 billion) to Greece in the second half of March after euro zone parliaments complete approval procedures, Centeno told a news conference after a regular monthly meeting of euro zone finance ministers. This follows Greece’s respect of its commitments under the so-called third, and penultimate, review of the bailout programme. To successfully exit the programme, a fourth review of 88 “deliverables” must be completed … [Read more...] about Euro zone to unlock new loans to Greece, works on debt relief
ATHENS (Reuters) – European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici said on Thursday he was “especially optimistic” about efforts to reach a solution on Greek debt relief. Greece’s third bailout ends in August and debt relief is expected to come up in negotiations over its bailout exit terms in the coming months. Athens and its euro zone lenders are expected to flesh out a French-proposed mechanism that was presented in June and which will link debt relief to Greek growth rates. The economy is forecast to grow by up to 2.5 percent this year and in 2019. “On the issue of debt relief I am especially optimistic and I believe that our efforts will be implemented and they will be successful,” Moscovici said, through an interpreter, at a meeting with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos. Greek public debt is forecast at 180 percent of gross domestic product this year. Greece has received a record 260 billion euros in three bailouts … [Read more...] about EU’s Moscovici ‘especially optimistic’ on Greek debt relief